Tonsil Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit Settles For $12.5M After 5 Year Old Boy Loses Leg Due to Complications

A Staten Island family has reached a $12.5 million settlement with a New Jersey hospital to resolve a medical malpractice claim over a tonsil surgery, which resulted in severe complications and a leg amputation for a five year old boy.

According to the complaint, the child underwent tonsil surgery in April 2015, at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. However, a surgical error resulted in doctors puncturing both of his femoral arteries while trying to place lines in them.

The boy, just five years old at the time, had to undergo emergency resuscitation, was placed on a ventilator, and developed blood clots in his right leg, eventually leading to its amputation. The lawsuit filed against the hospital and some staff indicated that healthcare personnel there let the leg become cold and discolored for more than 12 hours without treatment.

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According to a report by, the boy now uses a prosthetic and a wheelchair, and continues to suffer ongoing medical problems.

The lawsuit alleged that the hospital botched the surgery and the boy’s recovery, noting that his leg could have been saved if the hospital staff had given an adequate level of care.

A report issued in February 2017 by the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen found that medical malpractice payments are at historic and all-time lows, indicating that in 2015, the most recent full year of data available, the malpractice costs accounted for only one-tenth of one percent of all healthcare costs. In addition. the number of malpractice payments doled out by doctors was the lowest on record.

The study also found that medical liability insurance premium payments are at a historic low as well, reaching their lowest levels since at least 2003, and only accounted for 0.3% of health care costs in 2015.


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